I know of a cohort of operators who grew up with TS520S through TS530SP into the TS830 through TS850S peaking with TS940S. Currently, I have a TS850S occupying shack space and a TS830S in storage after its stellar performance while stationed at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines in the mid-1980s. I sold my TS530SP for the TS830S and it is a matter of timing when this unit comes out of storage.
I haven't abandoned Kenwood perhaps many of us have sub-consciously waited for their return like dormant Jedi waiting to take on the empire. The halcyon days are seered into our memories as young novices remembering state-of-the-art performance matched with affordability. One could purchase a TS520S after a summer of cutting lawns or carrying golf clubs.
Today, circumstances are different, however dominating shack space means pairing state-of-the-art wireless technology with affordable price points.
Basically, can Kenwood re-invent itself in a market space dominated by Elecraft, Icom, and Yaesu? Afterall, most RadioSport stations are driven either by one of the big three wireless sets to include DXpeditions; the competition is fierce and rising to the occasion can they deliver Samurai?
On the other hand, Kenwood's TS990S campaign is mysterious for example, note the date on the display panel as April 1st with a press release dated on the 18th while their website has no state-of-the-art, flagship splash? Also, one would venture to say at first observation the TS990S is an Icom/Yaesu clone?
Finally, the TS990S appears like a you-having-everything transceiver including an analog S-meter.
The big word in the press release is prototype. I cannot believe that Kenwood would abandon a long tradition of technological leadership in the shack. Perhaps, their team will be listening like one listens for a weak signal multiplier while the radio goes through its convention circuit and feedback loops before releasing the true TS990S?
Doug Grant, K1DG wrote an excellent article that is recommended reading and it is titled, "High-performance HF-transceiver design: A ham's perspective".
In the meantime, will Kenwood rise to the occasion and deliver Samurai for those true believers waiting to take on the big three empire?
73s from the shackadelic near the beach.